Muscletown USA: Bob Hoffman and the Manly Culture of York Barbell

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Penn State Press, 1999 - Physical fitness - 420 pages

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My name is Chris Conrad - referred to on page 368. Along with Don King, I owned Gold's Gym in York, Penna, and promoted the Gold's Classic Colonial Open in 1984.
Just to set the record
straight, the bodybuilding promotion had nothing whatsoever to do with Joe Weider or his publications - and in no way slighted Bob Hoffman or York Barbell - just as Gold's Gym International had nothing to do with Joe.
The Gold's Classic Colonial Open was done as a benefit for the local Muscular Dystrophy chapter in Harrisburg. I knew many of the people at Barbell - including its President, John Terpak. I asked John if Barbell would help sponsor to raise money for the charity. He agreed, and wrote me a personal check to cover Barbell's share.
Many of the Barbell greats - John Grimek, Jules Bacon, John Terpak, and others attended (Bob was not well and did not attend) and were introduced to the audience. Everything was first class - there was never a mention of Joe Weider at the show. It simply was not an issue.
A few weeks after the show, I, along with Bob, John Terpak, and Don King, presented Muscular Dystrophy a check for the net proceeds of the show. Bob had a series of strokes by that time, and did not have his mental faculties - but, you could tell he was happy.
I am proud of my association with the Barbell guys...I used to sit in the great John Grimek's office for hours as he told me stories of the early days of the sport. I grew up reading Bob's books. In no way would I ever slight him - or Barbell. We had a close relationship, and I held them all in high esteem.
The closest association Joe Weider had to the show was that I had Samir Bannout, who was the Mr Olympia for the Weider associated IFBB, as my guest poser.
Through business dealings some years later, I also got to know Joe Weider, as well. Both Bob, and Joe, were credits to the sport. Indeed, it would be fair to say the entire Health & Fitness industry, as we know it today, was built on their backs.
Other than this clarification, Mr Fair's book seems extremely accurate from my knowledge of the facts.
I feel better now.
Chris Conrad


Ascent to Glory
Bob Hoffmans Formative Years
The Origins of American Weightlifting
The Old York Gang
Fitness and Survival in Wartime
Years of Challenge and Achievement
All Roads Lead to Muscletown USA
The New York Gang
Descent from Glory
Cultural Counter cur rents 243
Bob Hoffmans Departure
Epilogue and Conclusion

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